For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Capezzuto
At UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Summer Travelers Should "Allergy-Proof" Vacations to Minimize Flare-Ups
7/1/05—Summer travelers who experience allergies can take precautions to avoid unnecessary
flare-ups during vacations.
"Proper planning may prevent a trip to a hospital emergency room for treatment of an
allergy attack," said Dr. Leonard Bielory, director of the Asthma and Allergy Research Center at
the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School in Newark.
"Although you can never completely allergy-proof your vacation, there are steps you can
take to minimize the risk of an attack," he said. "If your allergies are active or severe, you may
want to visit your allergist for a pre-trip check-up."
When traveling by air, Dr. Bielory noted that recycled air in the cabin can trigger allergy
symptoms. Before the seatbelt light is turned on, you should:
- Inform airline attendants of your condition and any medication you are taking.
- Carry an EpiPen on board in case you have a severe reaction.
- Use a saline nasal spray to keep your nasal passages moist because the dryness in the
cabins may aggravate allergy symptoms.
- Pack allergy medications in your carry-on bag in the event you need it while in flight.
- Remember time zone changes when calculating when to take your medicine.
- While in flight, chew gum, sip liquids and swallow often to relieve sinus pressure.
When traveling by car, bus or train, Dr. Bielory suggests these simple precautions:
- Turn your car’s air conditioning unit on for 10 minutes before you leave to eliminate
allergens in the upholstery, carpeting and ventilation systems.
- Travel in early morning or late evening to avoid heavy traffic and poor daytime air
- Keep your air conditioning on and the car windows closed to prevent pollen and other
When booking a room, you should:
- Request if the hotel has allergy-proof rooms or ask for a room that is located in a dry,
sunny area away from the pool. If you have pet allergies, make sure that the room has
- Ask that the air filter in your room’s air conditioner be changed before your arrival, and
avoid opening windows.
- If you have mold spore allergies, keep your clothes in your luggage rather than using
closets and drawers because both are common breeding areas for spores.